Resilient Jack Russell survives coyote attack
BY Sarah email@example.com Sparky is matching any cat's luck with nine lives. Thursday night the Jack Russell terrier was picked up by a coyote at his home off Highway 87 south of Park Rapids and got the shaking of his little life.
BY Sarah smith
Sparky is matching any cat’s luck with nine lives.
Thursday night the Jack Russell terrier was picked up by a coyote at his home off Highway 87 south of Park Rapids and got the shaking of his little life.
“I heard the most excruciating, loud screaming horrible noise,” said Sparky’s owner Dennis Thompson.
By this time Sparky had wriggled free of the predator and dashed into two-foot-tall grass in the back yard.
A panicked Thompson ran back and forth through the tall grass trying to locate his dog.
Sparky had skedaddled to the front porch where he was cowering and “wanting in,” Thompson said.
The little dog was bitten up but alive. It was 9 p.m. Thompson had just gotten home from an American Legion function and let his dog out.
Thompson and Sparky are no strangers to coyotes out in their rural neighborhood. Last fall a coyote “was right on his rear end” chasing Sparky in the front yard.
“They take a lot of fawns,” Thompson remarked, having seen a few dead fawns near his yard.
Sparky used up one of his nine lives escaping the latest close call.
Then there was the time Sparky met a porcupine. He had quills all over.
Thompson called his vet and learned he could extract the quills himself, which he did. That may have been his first life lost, a few years ago.
Since his vet was closed for the night, Thompson made Sparky comfortable and took him in the next morning, losing sleep in the process.
“He was so gimpy and lethargic they had to lift him out of the car,” he recalls of the vet and assistant at Town & Country Animal Clinic in Park Rapids.
Sparky was stitched and shaved and cleaned up. The 8-year-old didn’t have much get-up-and-go when he went home.
“They were just wonderful,” Thompson said of Sparky’s lifesavers.
Monday, the little dog could still be seen occasionally cowering.
“We get a few calls about coyote attacks,” said Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes. “I do know that coyotes could and would easily prey on cats and smaller dogs if the opportunity was there.”
“It doesn’t surprise me,” said DNR area wildlife technician Tom Stursa.
“Small pets like that, coyotes may look at them like food and certainly attack.”
But big dogs may not fare any better.
Stursa said coyotes and wolves view them as competition and could attack them as predators.
“He was pretty lucky,” Stursa said of Sparky.
Meanwhile, Thompson is keeping a close eye on the little guy, escorting him outside day and night.
Sparky also received a cracked rib, which the vet realigned.
“I hurt as much as he did,” Thompson said. “You don’t realize how attached you get to them until something like this happens.”
Sparky is slowly mending and getting lots of treats.
“I’ve spoiled him rotten,” Thompson admitted.
“It can happen so quick,” he added. “Coyotes are smart. They’ll make noises to get the dogs to come to them.”
Town & Country is closed Mondays and was unavailable for comment.
Thompson has now armed himself with a wooden club that he can use to fight off the coyotes, just in case the word hasn’t gotten out to other predators.